April, 2015
From the ASHI President.
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Building Membership

ALDEN E. GIBSON

THE main priority for my term as ASHI president

is to build membership. ASHI is the oldest and most respected home inspection society in the world, but obtaining membership is not easy.

Some members have asked me, “Why do you want to get your competition into our society?” My answer is simple. I do not look at members as competition. I look at them as colleagues – colleagues who are using the same standard of practice and code of ethics that I use as an ASHI inspector. As ASHI inspectors, I know these colleagues are doing a fair, thorough and professional job. Knowing that all ASHI inspectors follow the same practices and ethical code, I can rely on them to assist me in times when the need arises. Just such an occasion happened several years ago.

I was doing an inspection on an old house with a walk-up attic in a small, rural town. My normal routine is to inspect the attic last in my procedure. As we were about to go up into the attic, the agent warned that there were a lot of mouse droppings in the attic. Unfortunately, they were not mouse droppings; they were bat droppings commonly known as guano. We were in the attic for less than two minutes because of the danger of the fumes from the guano. Two days later, I had a lung infection from the guano. Under doctor’s orders, I was ordered to bed for several days. However, my calendar was booked full with upcoming inspections.

Luckily, I had an ASHI colleague who was available to do my inspections for the next two days. If that colleague had not been available, my clients would have been left without an inspector, which would have affected my reputation, and pending sales would have been in jeopardy. Having an ASHI colleague making inspections in my area was a benefit to the ASHI organization, to the homeowners who hired me, to the other related industries relying on the inspections and especially to me.

ASHI has invested many resources in the branding of the organization. As members, we all should be taking advantage of this branding investment. The ASHI logo signifies that the member is certified, meeting strict, thorough and comprehensive standards of practice and code of ethics. This is significant. The nearly 6,000 ASHI members complement the quality of the ASHI membership. Imagine the increased recognition of the ASHI logo if ALL members used the ASHI logo on ALL their vehicles, business cards, reports, stationery and emails. That increased recognition definitely increases the value of all ASHI members’ businesses. Soon, ASHI could be as readily recognized as Pepsi or the U.S. Postal Service.

ASHI also has an incentive program to bring in members. ASHI will pay any current member $50 for each new approved member brought to ASHI. Over the years, this program has enabled me to have my membership dues covered. Take advantage of this program. Bring a new colleague to ASHI – increase the membership, improve ASHI recognition and strengthen the ASHI organization. Ultimately, the strength of ASHI is a direct reflection of your own home inspection business. Make it count!